A journalist working with the Leadership Newspapers, Mr Anayo Onukwugha, had a dose of brutality on Thursday from one of the soldiers manning the main entrance of the new terminal of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Rivers State.
Onukwugha, who was at the airport at about 9.30am to cover the inauguration of the international wing of the airport by President Muhammadu, was hit several times with a stick.
The soldier, who wore no tag, ignored all entreaties from Onukwugha, who had identified himself as a journalist, assigned to cover the inauguration at the airport.
Speaking with newsmen at the gate to the venue of the event, the reporter, who felt dehumanised by the action of the soldier, said “They (soldiers) were pushing back the crowd that came for the event and I identified myself to the soldier as a journalist.
“But that did not mean anything to him as he began to hit my legs with a stick.”
Having been denied access to the inaguaration venue, Onukwugha and other journalists were forced to leave.
One of the security agents in mufti had told one of the journalists that they were from Aso Rock and were not authorised to allow journalists without tags onto the premises.
Journalists from Daily Trust, The Punch, Daily Independent, New Telegraph and The Sun were among those turned back by the security agents, despite that the journalists showed the soldiers their identification cards.